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The Good Wife Round Table: "Wrongful Termination"

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Another week, another edition of The Good Wife Round Table.

Opinions are split on whether or not "Wrongful Termination" was a solid episode, and our critics Jeff Kirkpatrick, Christine Orlando and Carissa Pavlica weigh in on a few points. As always, we welcome your input in the comments.

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The obligatory question: What was your favorite scene from the episode?

Christine: Childs on the talking lion speaker phone was so comical and unexpected.  Having it at Mr. Mom's house made it plausible.  Add the look on Cary's face…I loved it.

Carissa: Yep, I agree. The talking lion.

Jeffrey: This was tough, because for me there were two. When Cary spoke to Kalinda about the big secret, the emotion in his eyes and face were so apparent. It's always been clear he cares for Kalinda, but in that moment I really sensed a level of empathy from him I hadn't seen before. He's shown a tender heart when dealing with downtrodden clients in the past, but this is someone he cares deeply for, and it shows.

Secondly, Eli losing it over the DCC screw up. For a minute, I wondered if he might go into cardiac arrest, but the ferocity in his delivery was a little shocking, though very impressive.

Does Will really want to settle down with Tammy or is he just afraid of being alone?

Christine: He's afraid of being alone. Stern's death shook him. The thought of dying in his office and having no one even realize it struck a little too close to home for Will. He wants a real relationship but the woman he loves is unattainable.  I think he honestly cares about Tammy but the fact that she is looking for more from him makes her the convenient choice.

Carissa: Seconded. He is afraid of being alone, and with all people in the world he has chosen one of my least favorite ever to grace a television show. Goody for me! I hated seeing him grovel to keep her in town. Painful.

Jeffrey: I think it's obvious by now if he had his choice it would be Alicia. Tammy is a band-aid, something to cover up his wounds and to keep him from being lonely. Stern's death took its toll on Will more than anyone, and I have to say it's nice to see Will feel his mortality. He always walks around with seemingly bulletproof; it was refreshing to which him shaken by something as intangible as death.
Is Stern a recurring character you will miss?

Christine: Not particularly but I appreciated his growing respect for Alicia and that he noticed how much she's changed since coming on board L&G.

Carissa: He wasn't on enough to really miss, but I did like the relationship he and Alicia had when he would pop his head in. I liked that he trusted her and she had the inside track on his world.

Jeffrey: You know, every time he showed up he threw L&G for an unpredictable loop. I kind of liked that about him, as well as his interactions with Alicia.

Why is Cary putting his position at the State's Attorney's office in jeopardy in order to protect Kalinda?

Christine: He's always been attracted to Kalinda but I think he also really cares about her, even if it's just as a friend.  He also sees that this is a personal issue, not a criminal one.  Cary's smart enough to realize how many lives will be ruined if this comes out.  I'm not sure how far he'll continue to go to protect Kalinda but he's already stuck his neck out there by keeping her informed.  And as much as he wants to crush Alicia in the courtroom, I don't think he has any desire to trash her personal life either. 

Carissa: Because he has feelings for Kalinda. And because he knows that the other guy made a pact with Peter to keep his job, and since Cary's own job will be in jeopardy no matter who wins the race, he might as well stick up for his friend and use his heart instead of looking out for himself.

Jeffrey: I'm calling this the "no-brainer" question, partly because I came up with it, and partly because Cary's concern for Kalinda is so obvious. I've always felt that Cary's protective instincts and "never let them see you sweat" attitude would kick in any time he was faced with a situation that would jeopardize his career, but with Kalinda I think we've found Cary's kryptonite. I do agree, though, Cary's not a bad person, and he doesn't want Alicia's world to be rocked (again) and more than he does Kalinda's.

Have I said lately that Cary's my favorite character?

Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Estas cosas estan bien chafas metan mejores cosas

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If this season doesn't wake up there won't be a season 3, the ratings tell the story the networks and show backers don't want the same old they want high viewings. Just to make a comment on the Peter/Alicia delemma I don't remember where she ask him to put iy all on the table. There is still the reason Kalinda visited Peter in jail and Alicia knows it also why she was let go from the SA job. A lot of unanswered questions, in order to continue with the story line there can't be a seperation that will pull the show to the bottom. Alicia doesn't want to give full custady to anyone when it comes to her children and hitting to market will never happen !

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An excellent episode marred only by the failure to disclose the Kalinda/Peter secret to Alicia. Drawing this storyline out really irritates me; it's just so soapy. And when we do get to the rinse cycle, it better be Peter who confesses to Alicia if he has any hope of salvaging the marriage. (Way back in Season One, didn't Alicia ask Peter to come entirely clean about all his indiscretions before she agreed to reconciling? If so, he better start apartment shopping now - fessing up only when your hand is forced is not the basis of a trusting relationship.) And tho Peter, not Kalinda, is the only person who has the responsibility to make this disclosure, given his behavior in the past, I doubt Peter will come clean and Alicia will have to suffer yet another public humiliation. Hopefully the last. I believe the cheating spouse is the only guilty party in these situations, but I also believe the Alicia/Kalinda freindship will be badly marred if not destroyed. This makes me sad. I don't care about Will's feelings, only his actions. Based on Ms. Marguiles' beautifully subtle reaction to Will's double dealing in the tortured Chinese dissident's case, I believe Alicia has already decided Will's character is too flawed for her to truly ever love him. (And if his shady dealings in Baltimore do surface, it will just be the confirmation Alicia needs to let go of any remaining schoolgirl fantasies she once had about Will.) This also undermines any real irritation Alicia may otherwise feel when she finds out Eli deleted Will's message at the end of last season. I say, bullets dodged. I love Eli because despite his flaws, he really admires Alicia's strength. As does Carey. As does Canning. He wants to partner with her because she's a good attorney, not because she's the AG's wife. I want Alicia to interact with Eli and Carey and Diane much more next season and stop being dragged down into all the this melodrama. She's been tortured for two years, please let her have some fun. So if Will doesn't want to be alone, and Tammi is ok w. being the rebound girl, then I say they deserve each other. The gene pool for nice people, like Alicia, will be safer. So, going into the final four, here's fingers and toes crossed that Peter wins the election so he'll have a job and Alicia can give him full cusody of the kids, or send them to boarding school. (A Friends prep school for the daughter so she can learn to think critically about religion rather than sermonizing dogma.) Then next season we can see Alicia kick ass in the courtroom (w or w/o Canning) and she can tentatively begin dating some kind and ethical men. Perhaps a super powerful rich friend or client of Eli's? And if Carey doesn't want to work for Peter (given his connection to Alicia and Kalinda), then he can accept an offer from Canning (at Alicia's suggestion) over an offer from Diane or Will. That'll assuage any lingering resentment Carey has over not being selected last season. Finally, I want some Kalinda-Carey love. Herein ranting ceases to begin chanting "From my fingertips to the King's eyes."

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Its coleslaw.

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Does anybody know what was brought to the shiva house by everyone?

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Does anybody know where Wills mother is, he sure needs her. All this poor Will has made me sick, with his very shady background and no regard for the line he trys to cross alot. As a female of years I have worked and seen plenty of this unethicle manners from lawyers that have destroyed the lives of the women they lie to just for a hot piece. It is not worth it to ever get involved with a boss no matter what, after several years of marriage and a couple of teenage kids you are heading for the lonely life of being alone down the road and asking yourself why. The best answer is inmaturety and thinking way over your head.

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I love how this season the romantic tension is between Cary and Kalinda. The show has captured the audiences attention on their story line and we somewhat forget about Alicia and Will. That and Cary has become a fantastic character this season! Eli as well! Is anyone else glad the kids weren't on this episode? They are so obnoxious!

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The Good Wife manages to tie in complicated story-lines and create a beautiful series. I laughed at the talking lion. Andrew Wiley presents as an interesting investigator. Favorite Scene?
Although the talking lion was a good comic relief, I appreciated Alicia's conversation with Louis Canning. When he asked Alicia for a ride because his driver was out sick, it seemed like he was doing his usual scandal, but he just wanted to offer her a job. It showed growth in his character as he pointed out that he doesn't carry work at home. He was offering Alicia the opportunity to have the same relief. That was exceptional acting from both parties that delivered an interesting scene for two rivals. Will: Settle down or afraid of being alone?
The latter. Will's relationship with Tammy started off on a rebound from what he was going through with Alicia. It turned into a thrill and now it is forming into an iffy relationship. The only thing they lack is decent chemistry. Although they are the occasional flirts, they haven't progressed into any other stage. Will seems unable to really define what he himself is doing and it leads toward his fear of being alone. The only thing that pulled Will and Tammy together is the fact that she was leaving. Will pleaded with her not to go, because what would he be without her. Stern missed?
It was touching the way he was found, lying on a couch listening to classical music. He would be remembered for what he made L&G. It seemed like he would more be missed by Will and Diane than the audience on a whole, since they would have had more interactions with him. Why is Cary putting his position at the State's Attorney's office in jeopardy in order to protect Kalinda?
Quite simple actually. Cary has grown over the few years we've known him and he has learned to be more caring. It is no surprise he loves Kalinda, a good friend in his life. He did not like seeing her desperate and out of options. Kalinda has limited people in her life that would look out for her like Cary did and that probably means a lot to Cary.

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And I can't believe I forgot about the opening scene. They portrayed a suicide by following the actions of one person, as the CAMERA slow panned over multiple security camera views. It was another innovative storytelling device!

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I was very, very impressed with this episode. And I want to share my take on FOUR moments in this show that we rarely (or never) see on television. (Also, I’d love to hear other people’s reactions to these moments, or other moments that they enjoyed)… 1) The talking lion scene. Perhaps the most obvious of my favorite four moments. That idea requires a moment of inspiration in a writer’s life, that survives all the way from a draft of the script, to the production crew making it happen and the editor timing the mouth to the dialogue. 2) The scene in which Will and Diane discuss Stern's death. Did you see what the writers did? They created TWO scenes, with two separate dramatic intentions, but they did it in the same setting. First, Will and Diane have a practical discussion, talking about how to re-acquire Stern's clients. Then Will leaves, but he takes a moment to absorb the gravity of the death, and he immediately RETURNS to Diane. Then they have ANOTHER SCENE, discussing the philosophical implications of Stern's death. For Diane, it offers us a chance to see how she was personally affected by the loss of this mentor (and perhaps former lover?). For Will, the scene lets us see how Stern’s death gives him perspective on the meaning of his life (something that we need, to understand his romatic choices later in the episode). 3) The quick montage leading up to the shiva scene. Kudos to the editor(s) and of course the writers and director. If viewers can replay that moment, please do. Yes, we’ve seen action heroes assemble their guns and swords in a series of quick cuts. But how often do you see people tearing their clothes, donning yarmulkes and assembling their egg salad for a mission to steal back clients at a shiva call? * Bonus for the moment in the kitchen where Will discovers he’s brought the same thing as everyone else. 4) Louis Canning asking for a ride. Again, kudos to the editor and the director. Perhaps the writers were involved in this one, but I’m less sure. This moment might be my favorite because it’s so rarely done in Film or TV. Louis begins to explain why he’s asking for a ride from Alicia and BOOM! Suddenly we’re in her car. Why mess with all the rest of the conversation on the sidewalk. We know Alicia. We know she’s nice. We know she’ll give him a ride. We don’t need to see it. These four moments, to me, are the kinds of things that set this show apart. I hope we see more of this inventiveness and bravery. Yes, bravery. Messing with the tone of a show with the humorous lion scene, or cutting away from Canning’s request for a ride so quickly, or doing two scenes on top of each other with the same characters discussing the same thing in different ways – those are risks in visual storytelling. This show not only takes the risks, but it succeeds. Way to go staff and crew. * Bonus moment when Canning fidgets with his yarmulke… although we know the Michael J. Fox is more adept with a kipah than most of his co-stars on that show! (And of course, the acting is also SUPERB.)

The Good Wife Season 2 Episode 19 Quotes

I don't have many enemies in life. I get along with Republicans, Protestants, Catholics, even a few reporters. But the one thing I hate is amateurs.

Eli

They say you always kill the woman terrorist first. The male ones, they hesitate. They fear death. Not the woman.

Stern
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